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Infections, other factors raise risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 15:46
Study Highlights                                                                                                                                        

  • Infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia.
  • Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Thursday, May 25, 2017

DALLAS, May 25, 2017 — Urinary tract infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders may increase the risk of pregnancy-associated stroke in women with preeclampsia, a high-blood pressure disorder unique to pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and after delivery. But while preeclampsia affects 3 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies, pregnancy-related stroke remain rare.

In a study of women admitted to hospitals in New York State from 2003 through 2012, researchers identified 88,857 women with preeclampsia. Of that number, 197 had pregnancy-associated stroke.

Compared with women who had preeclampsia but did not have a stroke, women who had preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke were:

  • seven times more likely to have severe preeclampsia or eclampsia; and
  • about three times more likely to have infections when they arrive at hospital, or had high blood pressure before developing preeclampsia or had blood disorders involving clots or excessive bleeding.

“Preeclampsia is a very complex disorder that’s not completely understood,” said Eliza Miller, M.D., study lead author and vascular neurology fellow at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “Our study sought to discover if there are other risk factors or clues that may help identify the women with preeclampsia who are at the highest risk for pregnancy-related stroke. We were looking for risk factors that could be prevented or treated.”

Researchers noted a link with urinary tract infections was interesting “because those infections are not only treatable, but could be preventable,” Miller said. 

Using billing data from the New York State Department of Health inpatient database, researchers compared women aged 12 to 55 years old with preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke to a matched control group of women with preeclampsia who did not have strokes. Among the women with preeclampsia and stroke, most strokes occurred postpartum, after women had been discharged home after delivery. More than one in 10 of the preeclampsia-related strokes were fatal.

The study’s reliance on patients’ billing data limited the level of detail researchers could analyze and restricted them from drawing definitive conclusions. But the associations were strong enough, Miller said, to help generate new ideas and directions for more research.  

“Preeclampsia is a very common disorder, and a lot of people are not aware of its association with stroke,” Miller said. “Women with preeclampsia should take any neurological symptoms, such as severe headache, very seriously, especially during the postpartum period. This needs to be a major focus of future stroke research in women.”

The American Heart Association recommends home blood pressure monitoring for all people with high blood pressure.

Co-authors are Hajere Gatollari, M.P.H.; Gloria Too, M.D.; Amelia Boehme, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.; Lisa Leffert, M.D.; Randolph Marshall, M.D.; Mitchell Elkind, M.D., M.S.; and Joshua Willey, M.D., M.S. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Note: May is American Stroke Month and Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:06 GMTInfections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia. Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/infections-other-factors-raise-risk-of-pregnancy-related-stroke-in-women-with-preeclampsiaThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Infections, other factors raise risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia

AHA Heart News - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 15:46
Study Highlights                                                                                                                                        

  • Infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia.
  • Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Thursday, May 25, 2017

DALLAS, May 25, 2017 — Urinary tract infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders may increase the risk of pregnancy-associated stroke in women with preeclampsia, a high-blood pressure disorder unique to pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and after delivery. But while preeclampsia affects 3 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies, pregnancy-related stroke remain rare.

In a study of women admitted to hospitals in New York State from 2003 through 2012, researchers identified 88,857 women with preeclampsia. Of that number, 197 had pregnancy-associated stroke.

Compared with women who had preeclampsia but did not have a stroke, women who had preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke were:

  • seven times more likely to have severe preeclampsia or eclampsia; and
  • about three times more likely to have infections when they arrive at hospital, or had high blood pressure before developing preeclampsia or had blood disorders involving clots or excessive bleeding.

“Preeclampsia is a very complex disorder that’s not completely understood,” said Eliza Miller, M.D., study lead author and vascular neurology fellow at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “Our study sought to discover if there are other risk factors or clues that may help identify the women with preeclampsia who are at the highest risk for pregnancy-related stroke. We were looking for risk factors that could be prevented or treated.”

Researchers noted a link with urinary tract infections was interesting “because those infections are not only treatable, but could be preventable,” Miller said. 

Using billing data from the New York State Department of Health inpatient database, researchers compared women aged 12 to 55 years old with preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke to a matched control group of women with preeclampsia who did not have strokes. Among the women with preeclampsia and stroke, most strokes occurred postpartum, after women had been discharged home after delivery. More than one in 10 of the preeclampsia-related strokes were fatal.

The study’s reliance on patients’ billing data limited the level of detail researchers could analyze and restricted them from drawing definitive conclusions. But the associations were strong enough, Miller said, to help generate new ideas and directions for more research.  

“Preeclampsia is a very common disorder, and a lot of people are not aware of its association with stroke,” Miller said. “Women with preeclampsia should take any neurological symptoms, such as severe headache, very seriously, especially during the postpartum period. This needs to be a major focus of future stroke research in women.”

The American Heart Association recommends home blood pressure monitoring for all people with high blood pressure.

Co-authors are Hajere Gatollari, M.P.H.; Gloria Too, M.D.; Amelia Boehme, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.; Lisa Leffert, M.D.; Randolph Marshall, M.D.; Mitchell Elkind, M.D., M.S.; and Joshua Willey, M.D., M.S. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Note: May is American Stroke Month and Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:06 GMTInfections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia. Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/infections-other-factors-raise-risk-of-pregnancy-related-stroke-in-women-with-preeclampsiaThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Too little sleep may raise risk of death in people with cluster of heart disease risk factors

AHA Heart News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 16:00
Study Highlights

  • Sleeping less than six hours was associated with higher risk of death in people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of several heart disease and diabetes risk factors.
  • This effect was particularly strong in those with elevated blood pressure or poor glucose metabolism.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 24, 2017

DALLAS, May 24, 2017 — People with a common cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes were approximately twice as likely to die of heart disease or stroke as people without the same set of risk factors if they failed to get more than six hours of sleep, according to a new observational study published in the association’s open access publication Journal of the American Heart Association. For those who got more sleep, the risk of death was more modest.

The study, funded in part by the American Heart Association, is the first to measure sleep duration in the laboratory rather than rely on patient reports and the first to examine the impact of sleep duration on the risk of death in those with a common cluster of heart disease risk factors.

The researchers randomly selected 1,344 adults (average age 49 years, 42 percent male) who agreed to spend one night in a sleep laboratory as part of the Penn State Adult Cohort. Based on their test results, 39.2 percent of the participants were found to have at least three of the risk factors, that when clustered together are known as the metabolic syndrome. For this study, the cluster included body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 and elevated total cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

During an average follow-up of 16.6 years, 22 percent of the participants died.  

Compared to people without the same cluster of risk factors, those with metabolic syndrome who clocked more than six hours of sleep time in the lab were about 1.49 times more likely to die of stroke during the 16.6-year follow-up period, while those who slept less than six hours in the lab were about 2.1 times more likely to die of heart disease or stroke. The short sleepers with metabolic syndrome were also 1.99 times more likely to die from any cause compared to those without metabolic syndrome.

The relationship was particularly striking because the researchers adjusted for sleep apnea –

sleep interrupted by pauses in breathing that is a known heart disease risk.

“If you have several heart disease risk factors, taking care of your sleep and consulting with a clinician if you have insufficient sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of death from heart disease or stroke,” said study lead author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Penn State College of Medicine and sleep psychologist at the Sleep Research & Treatment Center of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

He noted that sleep lab studies are often used to rule out sleep apnea, but physicians should also note insufficient sleep in the lab because it may signal a higher risk of death in patients with risk factors for heart disease.

 A recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association on sleep duration and quality noted that an increasing number of Americans suffer from sleep difficulties or choose to curtail sleep in favor of other social, leisure, or work-related activities and this may be associated with adverse cardiovascular risks and outcomes.

As the Fernandez-Mendoza research was an observational study, the results cannot establish a cause-and-effect, only an association between short sleep and mortality in people with the metabolic syndrome. Additional limitations include that the study used only one day of sleep lab results and enrolled too few minority patients to determine whether there are racial differences in the relationship between short sleep times and mortality.

“Future clinical trials are needed to determine whether lengthening sleep, in combination with lowering blood pressure and glucose, improves the prognosis of people with the metabolic syndrome” said Fernandez-Mendoza.

Co-authors are Fan He, M.S.; Caitlin LaGrotte, Psy.D.; Alexandros N. Vgontzas, M.D.; Duanping Liao, M.D., Ph.D.; and Edward O. Bixler, Ph.D.

Author disclosures are on the manuscript. The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . .  we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsWed, 24 May 2017 20:00:05 GMTSleeping less than six hours was associated with higher risk of death in people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of several heart disease and diabetes risk factors. This effect was particularly strong in those with elevated blood pressure or poor glucose metabolism. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/too-little-sleep-may-raise-risk-of-death-in-people-with-cluster-of-heart-disease-risk-factorsWed, 24 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Chronic anabolic steroid use may damage heart, arteries

AHA Heart News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 15:54
Study Highlights

  • Long-term anabolic steroid use may impair the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body and relax between beats.
  • Hardening of the arteries is associated with long-term anabolic steroid use.
  • The heart can recover pumping ability after anabolic steroid use stops, but the ability to relax between beats is less reversible.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Monday, May 22, 2017

DALLAS, May 22, 2017 — Long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid use may reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

In addition, long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid use damages the heart muscle’s ability to relax and may cause atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics. Since illicit use of these steroids became widespread in the American general population in the 1980s, those users are now reaching middle-age and adverse long-term effects are becoming evident.

Researchers conducted an observational study of 140 male weightlifters: 86 who used anabolic steroids and 54 non-users. Of the users, 58 were on the drug and 28 were off the drug during evaluations. The off-drug users had last used these steroids an average of 15 months prior to these evaluations. Anabolic steroid users showed higher body- and fat-free mass indexes, consistent with known effects of anabolic steroids.

Using two-dimensional ultrasound imaging, researchers found that the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker during contraction (systolic function) in those taking anabolic steroids compared to the non-steroid users.

Seventy-one percent of the anabolic steroid users who were on-drug at the time of evaluation had a low pumping capacity (less than 52 percent) whereas off-drug users had largely normal pumping capacity. In contrast, researchers found that only two of the non-users had a low pumping capacity.

Diastolic function, which is when the left ventricle relaxes and fills with blood, was impaired both for on-drug and off-drug anabolic steroid users. The researchers said this suggests a more permanent heart problem.

“Compared to non-users, anabolic steroid users displayed both higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as a higher prevalence of levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in their blood,” said Aaron Baggish, M.D., study co-lead author and associate director of the cardiovascular performance program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In addition to documenting impairments in heart function, researchers used coronary CT scans to examine the potential link between anabolic steroid use and coronary artery disease. This portion of the study revealed strong associations between the lifetime duration of illicit anabolic steroid use and the amount of plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. “This finding places illicit anabolic steroid use on the list of factors clinicians should consider when caring for men with premature disease of the coronary arteries,” Baggish said.

Researchers note that it’s estimated that between 2.9 million and 4 million Americans have used anabolic steroids. About a million of them, almost all of whom are male, have developed anabolic steroid dependence.

“It is critical that clinicians become aware of the long-term risks of anabolic steroid use on the heart. Most people relate anabolic steroids to cheating among athletes and fail to realize that there is a large population of men who have developed dependence upon these drugs, but who are not readily visible. The oldest members of this population are only now reaching middle age,” said Harrison Pope, Jr., M.D., the study’s other co-lead author and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“Clinicians need to know that there may be a marked increase in anabolic steroid-related cardiac pathology as this population moves into later middle-age and beyond,” said Pope who is also director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital, Harvard’s largest teaching hospital in psychiatry.

Other co-authors are Rory B. Weiner, M.D.; Gen Kanayama, M.D., Ph.D.; James I. Hudson, M.D.; Sc.D.; Michael Lu, M.D.; and Udo Hoffman, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

A grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Karen Astle: (214) 706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsMon, 22 May 2017 20:00:06 GMTLong-term anabolic steroid use may impair the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body and relax between beats. Hardening of the arteries is associated with long-term anabolic steroid use. The heart can recover pumping ability after anabolic steroid use stops, but the ability to relax between beats is less reversible. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/chronic-anabolic-steroid-use-may-damage-heart-arteriesMon, 22 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

American Heart Association names new Chief Administrative Officer

AHA Heart News - Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:00
DALLAS, May 19, 2017 – The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, has named a key senior executive to its nationwide leadership team. The veteran corporate attorney and finance executive will be tasked with driving enhanced operational performance on an enterprise basis while achieving improvements in business efficiencies. 

Larry Cannon joins the AHA as its new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at the organization’s national headquarters in Dallas. As CAO, Cannon will oversee the enterprise business operations of the 93-year-old non-profit. In addition to overseeing all financial management, he will also be responsible for the AHA’s technology, human resources, facilities and other strategic business investments and operations.

Cannon served most recently as the Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary for FTS International, Inc. in Fort Worth, TX.  FTS International is the largest private oil and gas well completion company in North America, with operations in China. Prior to that, he was a corporate attorney for Jones Day in Dallas, TX, and Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, IL, where he structured and negotiated domestic and international securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other corporate finance transactions.

“The American Heart Association is an increasingly global organization, acting as one unified voice on the many issues involved in realizing our vision of a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.“ As we continue to grow and evolve our business models, both in the U.S. and abroad, I’m very excited by the business rigor and experience Larry brings to our life-saving work. Under his leadership, I’m confident we’ll experience even greater operating efficiencies that result in even greater impact.“

“I’m excited to help lead new business models for the American Heart Association to further position the organization’s work with individuals and organizations to transform communities and extend and improve people’s lives,” Cannon said. “I look forward to implementing the best practices I’ve learned from my corporate career as well as new innovative approaches to establish new strategies for the American Heart Association.”

Larry Cannon began his career as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young, LLP. He is an alumnus of Baylor University in Waco, TX, and the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Sarah Williams: sarah.d.williams@heart.org; (214) 706-1156

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . .  we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsFri, 19 May 2017 15:00:08 GMTThe American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, has named a key senior executive to its nationwide leadership team. The veteran corporate attorney and finance executive will be tasked with driving enhanced operational performance on an enterprise basis while achieving improvements in business efficiencies. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/american-heart-association-names-new-chief-administrative-officerFri, 19 May 2017 15:00:00 GMT

Eating more fruits and vegetables may lower risk of blockages in leg arteries

AHA Heart News - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 15:10
Study Highlight

  • Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing blockages in leg arteries.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Thursday, May 18, 2017

DALLAS, May 18, 2017 – Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

PAD narrows the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the muscles and making it difficult or painful to walk or stand.

Previous studies linked lower consumption of fruits and vegetables with the increased occurrence of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, there has been little research into the association of eating fruits and vegetables and PAD.

After studying data from 3.7 million people, researchers found:

  • People who reported eating three or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables had 18 percent lower odds of PAD than those reporting eating less.
  • When stratified by smoking status, the association of lower PAD and increased fruits and vegetables was present only among participants who were current or former smokers.
  • Overall, 6.3 percent of participants had PAD and 29.2 percent reported eating three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

“Our current study provides important information to the public that something as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet could have a major impact on the prevalence of life-altering peripheral artery disease,” said Jeffrey Berger, M.D., study coauthor and associate professor of medicine and surgery at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.

Participants, who were average age 64 (64 percent women, nearly 90 percent white), completed medical and lifestyle questionnaires and ankle brachial index tests at more than 20,000 sites across America. An ankle brachial index test is a comparison of blood pressure differences between readings at the ankle and the forearm. 

Researchers also said their study confirmed that Americans’ overall fruit and vegetable intake remains dismally low.

The association of fruit and vegetable intake and lower PAD risk persisted after accounting for age, gender, race, smoking status and multiple other cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers noted older white women were most likely to eat three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, while younger black men were the least likely to report daily intake of three or more servings of fruits and vegetables. Low fruit and vegetable intake was particularly associated with PAD among current and former smokers.

“Our study gives further evidence for the importance of incorporating more fruits and vegetables in the diet,” said Sean Heffron, M.D., M.S., M.Sc., study coauthor and instructor in medicine at New York University School of Medicine. “One-on-one dietary assessments and counseling for PAD patients, as well as greater public health awareness of the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption, are both needed.”

Other coauthors are Caron B. Rockman, M.D.; Mark A. Adelman, M.D.; Eugenia Gianos, M.D.; Yu Guo, M.A. and Jin Feng Xu, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The research was partially funded by the National Heart and Lung Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Karen Astle: (214) 706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsThu, 18 May 2017 20:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing blockages in leg arteries. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/eating-more-fruits-and-vegetables-may-lower-risk-of-blockages-in-leg-arteriesThu, 18 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Heart failure patients readmitted to the same hospital may have better outcomes

AHA Heart News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 15:04
Study Highlights

  • Heart failure patients readmitted to the same facility spend fewer days in the hospital and are more likely to survive.
  • Time is important when seeking hospital care for acute events like heart attack or stroke, but for treatment of a chronic condition like heart failure, continuity of care seems to be more important, researchers said.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 10, 2017

DALLAS, May 10, 2017 — When patients with heart failure were re-hospitalized within a month, those who returned to the same hospital were discharged quicker and were more likely to survive, according to new Canadian research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

In both Canada and the United States, ambulance policies usually require patients be taken to the nearest emergency room, even if a patient has recently been hospitalized somewhere else.

“This makes sense in time-sensitive acute conditions where delays in initial treatment are associated with poorer outcomes – thus the adage “time is muscle” for heart attacks and “time is brain” for strokes. Heart failure is a chronic condition and continuity of care seems to be more important,” said Finlay A. McAlister, M.D., M.Sc., study lead author and professor of general internal medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Researchers examined data on readmissions for all patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of heart failure in Canada between 2004 and 2013. Of the 217,039 patients (average age 76.8 years, 50.1 percent male), 18.1 percent were readmitted within 30 days – 83.2 percent to the original hospital and 16.8 percent to a different hospital. The most common cause for readmission was heart failure (36.9 percent).

After adjusting for factors such as age and gender, heart failure patients who were readmitted to the same hospital were discharged an average of one day sooner and were 11 percent less likely to die during their hospitalization.

“For the individual patient, these differences may not seem like much, but considering that heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization (and readmission) in North America, it’s a big issue for the healthcare system,” McAlister said.

Currently, about 6.5 million adults in the United States live with heart failure. In heart failure, the heart muscle is too weak to pump sufficient blood to vital organs throughout the body. Although Canada has free universal access to hospital care, the findings in this study are likely to apply to the United State as well, since there are similar rates of readmission for heart failure and similar gaps in the transfer of medical information from one facility to another, researchers said.

According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, projections show that the prevalence of heart failure will increase 46 percent from 2012 to 2030.

“Patients’ hospital records may not be completed for weeks and they don’t report all of the things that happened during the initial hospitalization. For example, it is not uncommon for heart failure patients to not tolerate or have adverse responses to higher doses of some guideline-recommended medications. That information rarely appears on discharge summaries, so patients are at risk of the same thing happening if they are admitted to a different hospital,” McAlister said.

“If you are discharged from the hospital after heart failure, book a follow-up appointment with your physician within two weeks of discharge. If your condition deteriorates, try to see a familiar physician as soon as possible,” McAlister said.

In the study, patients readmitted to a different hospital were younger and more likely to be male, live in a rural area and to have arrived at the new hospital by ambulance.

Co-authors are Erik Youngson, M.Math. and Padma Kaul, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Akeem Ranmal: (214) 706-1755; akeem.ranmal@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsWed, 10 May 2017 20:00:05 GMTStudy Highlights: Heart failure patients readmitted to the same facility spend fewer days in the hospital and are more likely to survive. Time is important when seeking hospital care for acute events like heart attack or stroke, but for treatment of a chronic condition like heart failure, continuity of care seems to be more important, researchers said. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-failure-patients-readmitted-to-the-same-hospital-may-have-better-outcomesWed, 10 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Kicking the salt shaker habit may not be enough

AHA Stroke News - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:34
Study Highlights

  • Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions.
  • Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium.
  • These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 8, 2017

DALLAS, May 8, 2017 — Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Sodium is an important contributor to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. For nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults, the maximum sodium intake recommendation is even lower – 1500 mg/day – based on their age, race or ethnicity, or existing high blood pressure. Sodium can be difficult to avoid, especially when people eat a lot of processed food from grocery stores or restaurants. In fact, the average American adult consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day. To address this serious health threat, in 2010 the Institute of Medicine recommended gradually decreasing sodium levels in commercially processed foods.

Between December 2013 and December 2014, researchers recruited 450 study participants in Palo Alto, California; Birmingham, Alabama; and Minneapolis, Minnesota; divided evenly among each location. Half of participants were female, and equal percentages, overall, were Hispanic, African American, Asian and white. They ranged in age from 18 to 74 years old.

Participants visited the clinic once at the beginning of the study and then kept records of daily food intake for four days, which they reported to researchers in four telephone interviews along with providing samples of salt replicating the amount they had added to food at home.

Across age groups, the level of dietary sodium was similar, with an average 3,501 mg consumed per day —  over 50 percent more than the recommended 2,300 mg.

Researchers found:

  • Sodium added to food outside the home was the leading source (70.9 percent) and sodium found naturally in food was the next highest (14.2 percent);
  • Sodium from salt added in home food preparation (5.6 percent) and added to food at the table (4.9 percent) were next highest.
  • Sodium in home tap water, dietary supplements and antacids contributed minimally (less than 0.5 percent).

“Telling patients to lay off the salt shaker isn’t enough,” said Lisa J. Harnack, Dr.PH., study lead author and professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “Rather, commercially processed and restaurant foods should be the primary focus when educating patients on strategies for lowering sodium in the diet. Food manufacturers and restaurants should be encouraged to lower the sodium content in their food products to support Americans in consuming a diet consistent with sodium intake recommendations.”

“If you’re aiming to limit your sodium intake to the recommended level of less than 2,300 milligrams per day, you’ll need to choose foods wisely when grocery shopping and dining out,” Harnack said. “For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items diners can request sodium content information. Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less.”

The study was limited in that it did not represent the overall U.S. population because participants were selected based on location and also may have changed their sodium consumption during the study because they knew that it was under watch.

According to the American Heart Association, restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be a part of the solution to reduce sodium and give Americans the healthy options they need and deserve. The American Heart Association encourages packaged food companies and restaurants to reduce the sodium in their products to help make meaningful impact on the health of all Americans. The association has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.

Co-authors are Mary E. Cogswell, Dr.PH.; James M. Shikany, Ph.D.; Christopher D. Gardner, Ph.D.; Cathleen Gillespie, M.S.; Catherine M. Loria, Ph.D.; Xia Zhou, M.S.; Keming Yuan, M.S.; and Lyn M. Steffen, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Carrie Thacker: (214) 706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721); heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:05 GMTStudy Highlights: Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions. Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium. These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/kicking-the-salt-shaker-habit-may-not-be-enoughMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Kicking the salt shaker habit may not be enough

AHA Heart News - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:34
Study Highlights

  • Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions.
  • Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium.
  • These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 8, 2017

DALLAS, May 8, 2017 — Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Sodium is an important contributor to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. For nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults, the maximum sodium intake recommendation is even lower – 1500 mg/day – based on their age, race or ethnicity, or existing high blood pressure. Sodium can be difficult to avoid, especially when people eat a lot of processed food from grocery stores or restaurants. In fact, the average American adult consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day. To address this serious health threat, in 2010 the Institute of Medicine recommended gradually decreasing sodium levels in commercially processed foods.

Between December 2013 and December 2014, researchers recruited 450 study participants in Palo Alto, California; Birmingham, Alabama; and Minneapolis, Minnesota; divided evenly among each location. Half of participants were female, and equal percentages, overall, were Hispanic, African American, Asian and white. They ranged in age from 18 to 74 years old.

Participants visited the clinic once at the beginning of the study and then kept records of daily food intake for four days, which they reported to researchers in four telephone interviews along with providing samples of salt replicating the amount they had added to food at home.

Across age groups, the level of dietary sodium was similar, with an average 3,501 mg consumed per day —  over 50 percent more than the recommended 2,300 mg.

Researchers found:

  • Sodium added to food outside the home was the leading source (70.9 percent) and sodium found naturally in food was the next highest (14.2 percent);
  • Sodium from salt added in home food preparation (5.6 percent) and added to food at the table (4.9 percent) were next highest.
  • Sodium in home tap water, dietary supplements and antacids contributed minimally (less than 0.5 percent).

“Telling patients to lay off the salt shaker isn’t enough,” said Lisa J. Harnack, Dr.PH., study lead author and professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “Rather, commercially processed and restaurant foods should be the primary focus when educating patients on strategies for lowering sodium in the diet. Food manufacturers and restaurants should be encouraged to lower the sodium content in their food products to support Americans in consuming a diet consistent with sodium intake recommendations.”

“If you’re aiming to limit your sodium intake to the recommended level of less than 2,300 milligrams per day, you’ll need to choose foods wisely when grocery shopping and dining out,” Harnack said. “For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items diners can request sodium content information. Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less.”

The study was limited in that it did not represent the overall U.S. population because participants were selected based on location and also may have changed their sodium consumption during the study because they knew that it was under watch.

According to the American Heart Association, restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be a part of the solution to reduce sodium and give Americans the healthy options they need and deserve. The American Heart Association encourages packaged food companies and restaurants to reduce the sodium in their products to help make meaningful impact on the health of all Americans. The association has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.

Co-authors are Mary E. Cogswell, Dr.PH.; James M. Shikany, Ph.D.; Christopher D. Gardner, Ph.D.; Cathleen Gillespie, M.S.; Catherine M. Loria, Ph.D.; Xia Zhou, M.S.; Keming Yuan, M.S.; and Lyn M. Steffen, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Carrie Thacker: (214) 706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721); heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:05 GMTStudy Highlights: Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions. Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium. These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/kicking-the-salt-shaker-habit-may-not-be-enoughMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Cinnamon may lessen damage of high-fat diet in rats

AHA Heart News - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 08:41
Embargoed until 8:30 a.m. CT / 9:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, May 6, 2017  

Minneapolis, May 6, 2016 — Cinnamon may lessen the risk of cardiovascular damage of a high-fat diet by activating the body’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory systems and slowing the fat-storing process, according to a preliminary animal study presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology | Peripheral Vascular Disease 2017 Scientific Sessions.

In the study, researchers fed rats cinnamon supplements for 12 weeks along with a high-fat diet. They found:

  • The rats weighed less and had less belly fat and healthier levels of sugar, insulin and fat in their blood, compared to rats that did not receive cinnamon with their high-fat foods;

  • Rats fed cinnamon also had fewer molecules involved in the body’s fat-storing process and more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules that protect the body from the damages of stress.

The results suggest that cinnamon may reduce the effects of a high-fat diet, researchers said.

Vijaya Juturu, Ph.D., OmniActive Health Technologies Inc, Morristown, NJ.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

Akeem Ranmal: akeem.ranmal@heart.org; (214) 706-1755

AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsSat, 06 May 2017 13:30:08 GMTMinneapolis, May 6, 2016 — Cinnamon may lessen the risk of cardiovascular damage of a high-fat diet by activating the body’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory systems and slowing the fat-storing process, according to a preliminary animal study presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology | Peripheral Vascular Disease 2017 Scientific Sessions.http://newsroom.heart.org/news/cinnamon-may-lessen-damage-of-high-fat-diet-in-ratsSat, 06 May 2017 13:30:00 GMT

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association joins fans sending Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn wishes for a speedy recovery after suffering a stroke

AHA Stroke News - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 23:10
Dallas, May 5, 2017 –  Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn, age 85, is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke Thursday night at her home near Nashville, according to news reports tonight. The reports say she was rushed to a Nashville hospital for treatment and her doctors say she is responsive and recuperating.  

 Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of long term disability in the United States, but what many people may not know is stroke is largely treatable and the faster you are treated, the more likely you are to recover.  

Studies show ischemic stroke patients who receive the clot-busting drug alteplase (IV r-tPA) within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 times more likely to recover with little or no disability. And 91 percent of stroke patients who were treated with a stent retriever within 2.5 hours of symptom onset recovered with little or no disability.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association wants everyone to know the warning signs of stroke. 

Remember F.A.S.T. Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1.

To learn more about lowering your risk for stroke, visit www.strokeassociation.org, May is American Stroke Month.

About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

###

Media Contact: Julie Del Barto, julie.delbarto@heart.org  

]]>Advisories & CommentsStroke NewsSat, 06 May 2017 03:18:28 GMTDallas, May 5, 2017 –  Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn, age 85, is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke Thursday night at her home near Nashville, according to news reports tonight. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/american-heart-associationamerican-stroke-association-joins-fans-sending-country-music-legend-loretta-lynn-wishes-for-a-speedy-recovery-after-suffering-a-strokeSat, 06 May 2017 02:05:00 GMT

Stretching may reduce walking pain among peripheral artery disease patients

AHA Heart News - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 15:57
Study Highlights:

  • Wearing a splint to stretch calf muscles may enhance blood flow through clogged leg arteries.
  • After four weeks of stretching, people with clogged leg arteries had better blood flow and could walk further without discomfort. 

Embargoed until 3 CT p.m./ 4 p.m. ET, Friday, May 5, 2017

Minneapolis, May 5, 2016 — Simple calf muscle stretching may reduce leg pain when walking and increase blood flow for people living with peripheral artery disease, according to a preliminary abstract presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology | Peripheral Vascular Disease 2017 Scientific Sessions.

“This is a very safe, easy intervention that can be done at home and has the potential to really improve your tolerance for walking and get you into a walking program,” said Judy M. Muller-Delp, Ph.D., senior study author and professor of biomedical sciences at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects more than 8.5 million American adults and many are unaware they have it. The most common symptom in the lower extremities is a painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising. The pain of PAD often goes away when you stop exercising, although this may take a few minutes.

If there’s a blood-flow blockage due to plaque buildup, the muscles won’t get enough blood during exercise to meet the needs. The “crampy” pain (called intermittent claudication), when caused by PAD, is the muscles’ way of warning the body that it isn’t receiving enough blood during exercise to meet the increased demand.

In the current study, researchers evaluated 13 patients (six women and seven men; average age 71), most taking a statin drug and anti-platelet medications. Participants were instructed to passively stretch their calf muscle in 30-minute daily sessions using a splint that flexed the ankle about 15 percent. Walking ability and blood flow were measured after 4 weeks of calf stretching of each leg (5 days a week) and after 4 weeks without the special stretches. 

Compared to a month of not stretching, after one month of daily calf stretches the participants:

  • improved the ability of their calf arteries to relax and expand to let blood flow through after being momentarily held back with a blood pressure cuff (a test called flow-mediated dilation), from an average of 3.7 percent to 5.2 percent – moving them into the normal range for healthy elderly people;

  • extended how far they could walk in six minutes – about half a city block farther but still well below normal for people the same age; and

  • prolonged the distance they could walk before needing to stop and rest due to leg discomfort.

    Structured walking programs are a cornerstone of PAD treatment, along with medication and sometimes interventions to open clogged blood vessels.

    “A physical therapist can instruct you how to adjust and wear the splints correctly so you can do the stretches at home. There is no doubt about the benefit of exercise training on blood vessel health in PAD patients. If you have limited walking ability, I recommend that you at least perform muscle stretches so you can gain enough comfort and confidence in walking to participate in a walking exercise program,” said Kazuki Hotta, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in engineering science at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

    According to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Statistical Update, about 10 percent of people with PAD have the classic crampy pain symptom of intermittent claudication. Approximately 40 percent do not complain of leg pain, whereas the remaining 50 percent have a variety of different leg symptoms.

    Other co-authors are Wayne B. Batchelor, M.D.; James Graven, A.S., R.V.T.; Vishal Dahya, M.D.; Thomas E. Noel, M.D.; Akash Ghai, M.D.; John N. Katopodis, M.D.; William C. Dixon IV, M.D.; Jegghna Chheda, M.S.; Lia Liberatore, B.S.; and Bradley J. Behnke, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

    This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging and Florida State University.

    Note: Actual presentation time is 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET, Friday May 5, 2017.

    Additional Resources:

  • Photo of splint used in study and researcher photo are on the right column of the release link http://newsroom.heart.org/news/stretching-may-reduce-walking-pain-among-peripheral-artery-disease-patients?preview=f6c44e809da1c06007890a04ad6394e8
  • New peripheral artery disease guidelines emphasize medical therapy and structured exercise
  • Amputation risks highest amongst poor and black PAD patients
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews  #ATVBPVD17

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

Akeem Ranmal: (214) 706-1755; akeem.ranmal@heart.org 

 For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsFri, 05 May 2017 20:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: Wearing a splint to stretch calf muscles may enhance blood flow through clogged leg arteries. After four weeks of stretching, people with clogged leg arteries had better blood flow and could walk further without discomfort. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/stretching-may-reduce-walking-pain-among-peripheral-artery-disease-patientsFri, 05 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Can the antioxidant resveratrol reduce artery stiffness in diabetics?

AHA Heart News - Thu, 05/04/2017 - 15:14
Study Highlight:

  • In a short-term study, consuming resveratrol, an antioxidant, reduced artery stiffness in some people with Type 2 diabetes.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 4, 2017

Minneapolis, May. 4, 2017 — Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, peanuts, berries and the skin of red grapes, may reduce artery stiffness in some people with Type 2 diabetes, according to an abstract presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology | Peripheral Vascular Disease 2017 Scientific Sessions.

“This adds to emerging evidence that there may be interventions that may reverse the blood vessel abnormalities that occur with aging and are more pronounced in people with Type 2 diabetes and obesity,” said Naomi M. Hamburg, M.D., M.S., senior author of the study and chief of the vascular biology section at the Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.

As the body’s largest artery, the aorta, becomes stiffer, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases. In the current study, researchers used a test called the carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV) to measure aortic stiffness in 57 patients with Type-2 diabetes (average age 56 years, 52 percent female, 67 percent African-American and on average rating as obese on standard height/weight charts). Tests were performed after patients consumed daily doses of 100 mg/day of resveratrol for two weeks followed by 300 mg/day of resveratrol for two weeks and after comparable placebo dosing for a total of four weeks. Participants were also tested on several other measures of their blood vessels’ ability to relax and expand as needed to accommodate changes in blood flow, an important indicator of healthy blood vessel function.

Researchers found:

  • In the overall study group, there was a trend toward reduced aortic stiffness with resveratrol treatment; however, the change was not statistically significant.

  • In a subset of 23 patients with high arterial stiffness at the start of the study, the 300 mg dose of resveratrol reduced aortic stiffness by 9.1 percent, the 100 mg lowered reduced aortic stiffness to a lesser extent, 4.8 percent, while stiffness increased with the placebo treatments.

 “The effect of resveratrol may be more about improving structural changes in the aorta, and less about the relaxation of blood vessels, and people with more normal aortic stiffness may not get as much benefit,” Hamburg said.

In animal studies, resveratrol activates a gene (SIRT1) that delays aging and the development of several diseases. To look at that mechanism in humans, researchers in the current study took a sample of the inner lining of blood vessels from seven participants and examined the tissue for SIRT1 activity. Although they detected increased SIRT1 activity after resveratrol supplementation, the difference was not statistically significant.

“We found that resveratrol also activates the longevity gene SIRT1 in humans, and this may be a potential mechanism for the supplements to reduce aortic stiffness. However, the changes in this small and short-term study are not proof. Studies with longer treatment are needed to test the effects of a daily resveratrol supplement on vascular function,” said Ji-Yao Ella Zhang, Ph.D., lead study author and postdoctoral fellow at the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute at Boston University.

Other co-authors are Monika Holbrook, M.S.; Elika Inagaki, M.D.; Bihua Feng, Ph.D.; Dorae Ko, M.D.; Robert M. Weisbrod, M.A.; Reena Bastin; Margaret Stathos, B.A.; Rosa Breton-Romero, Ph.D.; and Jessica Fetterman, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health funded the study.

Note: Scientific presentation time is 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Additional Resources:

 

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Akeem Ranmal: (214) 706-1755; akeem.ranmal@heart.org 

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsThu, 04 May 2017 20:00:08 GMTStudy Highlight: In a short-term study, consuming resveratrol, an antioxidant, reduced artery stiffness in some people with Type 2 diabetes. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/can-the-antioxidant-resveratrol-reduce-artery-stiffness-in-diabeticsThu, 04 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Nearly 1 in 5 with highest cardiac risk don’t think they need to improve health

AHA Stroke News - Wed, 05/03/2017 - 15:40
Study Highlights

  • A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health.
  • While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes.
  • Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 3, 2017

DALLAS, May 3, 2017 — Nearly one in five people who reported the greatest number of cardiac risk factors did not believe they needed to improve their health, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While most people in the study at the highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to change, which were most commonly lack of self-discipline, work schedule and family responsibilities.

“Understanding what motivates changes in behavior is key to improving the health of individuals and communities,” said F. Daniel Ramirez, M.D, lead study author and a research fellow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. “Our study sheds light on how knowledge of personally modifiable risk factors for heart attack, such as quitting smoking and exercising, affects people’s perception of the need to improve their health.”

Researchers analyzed 45,443 responses from adults participating in the 2011-12 Canadian Community Health Survey. The survey gathered information about eight established risk factors for heart attack that people can change, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and poor diet. Along with high cholesterol, which was not included in the survey, researchers noted these factors account for 90 percent of heart attack risk. The survey also asked participants if they thought “there is anything you should do to improve your physical health?”

Researchers found:

  • 73.6 percent reported there was something they should do to improve their health.
  • 90.7 percent of those identifying a specific change indicated they wanted to quit/reduce smoking, exercise more, lose weight or eat better.
  • 81.1 percent desiring a change said they intended to improve their health in the coming year.
  • 17.7 percent at greatest risk (5 or more risk factors) did not feel a need to improve their health.

Respondents who reported that they had high blood pressure or diabetes also weren’t more likely to perceive the need to improve their health than those without those conditions. The survey did not include information about whether this group took medications to control these health problems, which may have affected their perceptions about the need to improve their health.

Still, “lifestyle modifications are very important for these conditions, particularly diabetes, even for those on medications,” said Benjamin Hibbert, M.D., Ph.D. senior study author and an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. 

The study also looked at factors that might bias results, including age, education, income and whether respondents had a regular healthcare provider. After adjusting for these factors, researchers found that older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Hibbert said the study’s take-home message is that recognizing the risk factors for heart attack is effective for motivating some, but not all people to improve their physical health. Effectively convincing people to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes requires a better understanding of what makes them tick, he said.

Despite many similarities between Canada and the United States, researchers said they couldn’t say whether differences in healthcare systems and culture would limit generalizing study findings to the United States.

Co-authors are Yue Chen, Ph.D.; Pietro Di Santo, M.D.; Trevor Simard, M.D.; and Pouya Motazedian, B.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Darcy Spitz : (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:12 GMTStudy Highlights: A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health. While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes. Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/nearly-1-in-5-with-highest-cardiac-risk-dont-think-they-need-to-improve-healthWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Nearly 1 in 5 with highest cardiac risk don’t think they need to improve health

AHA Heart News - Wed, 05/03/2017 - 15:40
Study Highlights

  • A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health.
  • While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes.
  • Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 3, 2017

DALLAS, May 3, 2017 — Nearly one in five people who reported the greatest number of cardiac risk factors did not believe they needed to improve their health, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While most people in the study at the highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to change, which were most commonly lack of self-discipline, work schedule and family responsibilities.

“Understanding what motivates changes in behavior is key to improving the health of individuals and communities,” said F. Daniel Ramirez, M.D, lead study author and a research fellow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. “Our study sheds light on how knowledge of personally modifiable risk factors for heart attack, such as quitting smoking and exercising, affects people’s perception of the need to improve their health.”

Researchers analyzed 45,443 responses from adults participating in the 2011-12 Canadian Community Health Survey. The survey gathered information about eight established risk factors for heart attack that people can change, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and poor diet. Along with high cholesterol, which was not included in the survey, researchers noted these factors account for 90 percent of heart attack risk. The survey also asked participants if they thought “there is anything you should do to improve your physical health?”

Researchers found:

  • 73.6 percent reported there was something they should do to improve their health.
  • 90.7 percent of those identifying a specific change indicated they wanted to quit/reduce smoking, exercise more, lose weight or eat better.
  • 81.1 percent desiring a change said they intended to improve their health in the coming year.
  • 17.7 percent at greatest risk (5 or more risk factors) did not feel a need to improve their health.

Respondents who reported that they had high blood pressure or diabetes also weren’t more likely to perceive the need to improve their health than those without those conditions. The survey did not include information about whether this group took medications to control these health problems, which may have affected their perceptions about the need to improve their health.

Still, “lifestyle modifications are very important for these conditions, particularly diabetes, even for those on medications,” said Benjamin Hibbert, M.D., Ph.D. senior study author and an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. 

The study also looked at factors that might bias results, including age, education, income and whether respondents had a regular healthcare provider. After adjusting for these factors, researchers found that older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Hibbert said the study’s take-home message is that recognizing the risk factors for heart attack is effective for motivating some, but not all people to improve their physical health. Effectively convincing people to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes requires a better understanding of what makes them tick, he said.

Despite many similarities between Canada and the United States, researchers said they couldn’t say whether differences in healthcare systems and culture would limit generalizing study findings to the United States.

Co-authors are Yue Chen, Ph.D.; Pietro Di Santo, M.D.; Trevor Simard, M.D.; and Pouya Motazedian, B.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Darcy Spitz : (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:12 GMTStudy Highlights: A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health. While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes. Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/nearly-1-in-5-with-highest-cardiac-risk-dont-think-they-need-to-improve-healthWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

The American Heart Association Wants to Know How You #BreakUpWithSalt

AHA Heart News - Tue, 05/02/2017 - 08:00
DALLAS, May 2, 2017 – A diet with too much salt can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. During May, National High Blood Pressure Month, the American Heart Association Sodium Reduction Initiative is encouraging consumers to kick the salt habit with its first ever #BreakUpWithSalt Hack Contest. As the leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, sodium reduction is a top health issue for the American Heart Association.

Because some companies in the food industry add ingredients like sodium to processed and restaurant foods before it even reaches your table, the American Heart Association is searching for easy, healthy, and original sodium reduction hacks to help people reduce their consumption.

Ideas will be judged in two different categories: processed food and restaurant food. Three hacks in each category will win. The winning tips and tricks will be published on the American Heart Association’s website (heart.org/sodium) and promoted through social media. Winners in each category will also receive prizes:

  • 1st prize- $250 Visa gift card
  • 2nd prize- AHA cookbook and water bottle
  • 3rd prize- Add Color Booklet

A high sodium diet can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. Also, known as “the silent killer”, high blood pressure is major risk factor for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of all Americans.

About three-quarters of the sodium we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods. Because most of the sodium we eat is in our food before we buy it, it makes it hard for people to limit how much sodium they are eating. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of eating no more than 1,500 mg of sodium each day, or less than one teaspoon. The average American eats more than twice that daily.

“Here’s the real challenge: most of our salt intake, about three-quarters, is buried in the food we eat. If we intend to reduce sodium intake, we must be deliberate and seek every opportunity. This begins with reading labels,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, M.D., former president of the American Heart Association and Chief of Cardiology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Don’t just look at packaged food items in grocery stores, ask about sodium content in casual dining facilities—think about the sodium in bread, soups and desserts; and pay attention to the custom of “salting” food before it’s served. Even in restaurants, you can and should either ask about sodium content or request a lower sodium food preparation.”

Participants can submit their hack online through May 12. Terms and conditions apply. Must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident. Only one hack submission per person is allowed. Winners will be announced May 23 via email and social media.

All hacks must comply with AHA nutrition criteria. Judging will be based on originality, ease of preparation, and alignment with the AHA’s nutrition requirements.

Additional Resources:

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Bridget O’Leary, 214-706-1152, bridget.oleary@heart.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsTue, 02 May 2017 12:00:07 GMTA diet with too much salt can lead to a wide range of cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. During May, National High Blood Pressure Month, the American Heart Association Sodium Reduction Initiative is encouraging consumers to kick the salt habit with its first ever #BreakUpWithSalt Hack Contest.http://newsroom.heart.org/news/the-american-heart-association-wants-to-know-how-youTue, 02 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT

Golden years are longer and healthier for those with good heart health in middle age

AHA Stroke News - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 15:26
Study Highlights

  • People who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types.
  • They also save money on healthcare costs.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 1, 2017

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 — People with no major heart disease risk factors in middle age live longer and stay healthy far longer than others, according to a 40-year study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Good cardiovascular health in middle age delays the onset of many types of disease so that people live longer and spend a much smaller proportion of their lives with chronic illness,” said Norrina Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In the first study to analyze the impact of cardiovascular health in middle age on the duration of illness later in life, researchers examined data from the Chicago Health Association study, which did initial health assessments in the late 1960s/early 1970s and has followed participants on an ongoing basis using Medicare health records. Researchers determined how many participants had favorable factors: non-smokers, free of diabetes and normal weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; versus those with elevated risk factors or high risk factors.

Comparing those who had two or more high-risk factors in middle age among the 17,939 participants who reached age 65 without a chronic illness, researchers found that those with all favorable factors:

  • lived an average of 3.9 years longer;
  • survived 4.5 years longer before developing a chronic illness;
  • spent 22 percent fewer of their senior years with a chronic illness (39 percent vs. 50 percent); and
  • saved almost $18,000 in Medicare costs.

“Health professionals need to let young adults know that maintaining or adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle makes it more likely that you’ll live longer and still be healthy enough to do the things you love to do when you’re older,” Allen said.

Looking solely at heart disease in 18,714 participants who reached age 65 without having a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure, those with all favorable risk factors:

  • lived 6.9 years longer without heart disease; and
  • spent 46.5 percent fewer of their senior years with heart disease.

Allen noted that at the start of the study, when their average age was 44, only 5.6 percent of participants had all favorable factors.

That data is even more grim than a 2011-2012 national survey suggesting only 8.9 percent of U.S. adults age 40-59 had five or more “ideal” health factors, according to The American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2017 Update.

“We need to think about cardiovascular health at all stages of life,” she said. “The small proportion of participants with favorable levels in their 40s is a call for all of us to maintain or adopt healthy lifestyles earlier in life. But risk factors and their effects accumulate over time, so even if you have risks it’s never too late to reduce their impact on your later health by exercising, eating right, and treating your high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.”

The American Heart Association created My Life Check ® to educate the public on improving health by aiming to achieve seven health measures called Life’s Simple 7. It’s a composite measure of seven modifiable heart-healthy factors: cigarette smoking, physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

The study recruited people from Chicago worksites in 1967-1972 and lacks information on how chronic illnesses affected the quality of life of participants. 

Co-authors are Lihui Zhao, Ph.D.; Lei Liu, Ph.D.; Martha Daviglus, M.D., Ph.D.; Kiang Liu, Ph.D.; James Fries, M.D.; Tina Shih, Ph.D.; Daniel Garside, M.S.; Thanh Huyen Vu, M.D.; Jeremiah Stamler, M.D.; and Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 20:23:59 GMTPeople who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types. They also save money on healthcare costs. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/golden-years-are-longer-and-healthier-for-those-with-good-heart-health-in-middle-ageMon, 01 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Golden years are longer and healthier for those with good heart health in middle age

AHA Heart News - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 15:26
Study Highlights

  • People who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types.
  • They also save money on healthcare costs.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 1, 2017

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 — People with no major heart disease risk factors in middle age live longer and stay healthy far longer than others, according to a 40-year study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Good cardiovascular health in middle age delays the onset of many types of disease so that people live longer and spend a much smaller proportion of their lives with chronic illness,” said Norrina Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In the first study to analyze the impact of cardiovascular health in middle age on the duration of illness later in life, researchers examined data from the Chicago Health Association study, which did initial health assessments in the late 1960s/early 1970s and has followed participants on an ongoing basis using Medicare health records. Researchers determined how many participants had favorable factors: non-smokers, free of diabetes and normal weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; versus those with elevated risk factors or high risk factors.

Comparing those who had two or more high-risk factors in middle age among the 17,939 participants who reached age 65 without a chronic illness, researchers found that those with all favorable factors:

  • lived an average of 3.9 years longer;
  • survived 4.5 years longer before developing a chronic illness;
  • spent 22 percent fewer of their senior years with a chronic illness (39 percent vs. 50 percent); and
  • saved almost $18,000 in Medicare costs.

“Health professionals need to let young adults know that maintaining or adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle makes it more likely that you’ll live longer and still be healthy enough to do the things you love to do when you’re older,” Allen said.

Looking solely at heart disease in 18,714 participants who reached age 65 without having a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure, those with all favorable risk factors:

  • lived 6.9 years longer without heart disease; and
  • spent 46.5 percent fewer of their senior years with heart disease.

Allen noted that at the start of the study, when their average age was 44, only 5.6 percent of participants had all favorable factors.

That data is even more grim than a 2011-2012 national survey suggesting only 8.9 percent of U.S. adults age 40-59 had five or more “ideal” health factors, according to The American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2017 Update.

“We need to think about cardiovascular health at all stages of life,” she said. “The small proportion of participants with favorable levels in their 40s is a call for all of us to maintain or adopt healthy lifestyles earlier in life. But risk factors and their effects accumulate over time, so even if you have risks it’s never too late to reduce their impact on your later health by exercising, eating right, and treating your high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.”

The American Heart Association created My Life Check ® to educate the public on improving health by aiming to achieve seven health measures called Life’s Simple 7. It’s a composite measure of seven modifiable heart-healthy factors: cigarette smoking, physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

The study recruited people from Chicago worksites in 1967-1972 and lacks information on how chronic illnesses affected the quality of life of participants. 

Co-authors are Lihui Zhao, Ph.D.; Lei Liu, Ph.D.; Martha Daviglus, M.D., Ph.D.; Kiang Liu, Ph.D.; James Fries, M.D.; Tina Shih, Ph.D.; Daniel Garside, M.S.; Thanh Huyen Vu, M.D.; Jeremiah Stamler, M.D.; and Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 20:00:13 GMTPeople who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types. They also save money on healthcare costs. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/golden-years-are-longer-and-healthier-for-those-with-good-heart-health-in-middle-ageMon, 01 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

One in three American adults may have had a warning stroke, American Stroke Association survey finds

AHA Stroke News - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:10
Embargoed until 12 a.m. ET on Monday, May 1, 2017

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 – About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or “mini” stroke, but almost none – 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

Thirty-five percent of respondents reported having experienced at least one sign of a warning stroke, called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Those who did were more likely to wait, rest or take medicine than call 911, said the AHA/ASA, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The survey was conducted as part of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke™ warning signs campaign sponsored by Medtronic. Participants included 2,040 adults nationwide.

The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. A TIA has the same symptoms, but usually lasts a few minutes and up to 24 hours. The American Stroke Association recommends calling for emergency help immediately, even if symptoms go away.

“Ignoring any stroke sign could be a deadly mistake,” said Mitch Elkind, M.D., chair of the American Stroke Association. “Only a formal medical diagnosis with brain imaging can determine whether you’re having a TIA or a stroke. If you or someone you know experiences a stroke warning sign that comes on suddenly — whether it goes away or not —call 911 right away to improve chances of an accurate diagnosis, treatment and recovery.”

If a diagnosis shows a clot is blocking blood flow to the brain – ischemic stroke, the most common type --  the patient may be eligible for a clot-busting drug. In some cases, a medical device called a stent retriever is also used to remove the clot, helping to reduce long-term disability.

If the diagnosis is a TIA or a stroke, the patient will need to fully understand their risk factors and work with their doctor on a tailored secondary prevention plan. These plans may include lifestyle changes, medications to manage known risk factors, and the addition of an antiplatelet medication such as aspirin.

“Officially, about five million Americans, or 2.3 percent, have had a self-reported, physician-diagnosed TIA, but as this survey suggests, we suspect the true prevalence is higher because many people who experience symptoms consistent with a TIA fail to report it,” Elkind said.

About 15 percent of strokes are heralded by a TIA. People who have a TIA are significantly more likely to have a stroke within 90 days.

To easily remember the most common stroke signs, the American Stroke Association recommends consumers learn the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for:

  • Face drooping

  • Arm weakness

  • Speech difficulty

  • Time to call 911.

Other stroke warning signs include sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Additional survey findings:

  • Respondents who experienced trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg were most likely to call 911 (5 percent).
  • The most common symptom reported was sudden, severe headache with no known cause (20 percent). The second most common was sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination (14 percent).
  • 77 percent of respondents had not heard of transient ischemic attack or TIA.
  • 55 percent of respondents said they would call 911 first if they suspected themselves or someone else was experiencing symptoms of a TIA, but only 3 percent of people who reported having experienced a TIA-like symptom did.

Additional Resources:

###

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.​heart.​org/​corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Jayme Sandberg: Jayme.Sandberg@heart.org, (214) 706-2169

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

 

 

]]>Program NewsStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:13 GMTDALLAS, May 1, 2017 – About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or “mini” stroke, but almost none – 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American (AHA/ASA).http://newsroom.heart.org/news/one-in-three-american-adults-may-have-had-a-warning-stroke-american-stroke-association-survey-findsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses ha experimentado una señal de advertencia de ataque o derrame cerebral, según la American Stroke Association

AHA Stroke News - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:10
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DALLAS, primero de mayo del 2017 – Alrededor de uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses experimentó un síntoma consistente con una advertencia o un "mini" ataque o derrame cerebral, pero casi ninguno – solo el 3 por ciento - tomó la acción recomendada, de acuerdo a una nueva encuesta de la American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

El treinta y cinco por ciento de los encuestados reportaron haber experimentado al menos una señal de advertencia de ataque o derrame cerebral, llamado ataque isquémico transitorio o TIA. Aquellos que lo hicieron tenían más probabilidades de esperar, descansar o tomar medicamentos antes de llamar al 911, dijo la AHA/ASA, la principal organización voluntaria de salud del país dedicada a combatir las enfermedades cardiovasculares y los ataques o derrames cerebrales, también conocido como una embolia.

La encuesta se realizó como parte de la campaña de señales de advertencia Together to End Stroke ™ de la American Stroke Association patrocinada por Medtronic. Los participantes incluyeron 2.040 adultos de todo el país.

La diferencia entre un TIA y un ataque o derrame cerebral es que el bloqueo es transitorio o temporal. Un TIA tiene los mismos síntomas, pero suele durar unos minutos y hasta 24 horas. La American Stroke Association recomienda llamar inmediatamente a ayuda de emergencia, aun si los síntomas desaparecen.

"Ignorar cualquier señal de un derrame cerebral podría ser un error mortal," dijo Mitch Elkind, MD, presidente de la American Stroke Association. "Solamente un diagnóstico médico formal con la proyección de imagen del cerebro puede determinar si usted está teniendo un TIA o un ataque o derrame cerebral. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce experimenta una señal de advertencia que sucede repentinamente – aun si los síntomas desaparecen - llame al 911 enseguida para mejorar la probabilidad de recibir un diagnóstico correcto, tratamiento y recuperación."

Si un diagnóstico muestra un bloqueo del flujo sanguíneo al cerebro causado por un coágulo - un ataque o derrame isquémico, el tipo más común - el paciente puede ser elegible para recibir un tratamiento médico para disolver el coágulo y, en algunos casos, un dispositivo médico llamado “stent retriever” para remover el coágulo y reducir la discapacidad a largo plazo.

Si el diagnóstico es un TIA o un ataque o derrame cerebral, el paciente tendrá que comprender plenamente sus factores de riesgo y colaborar con su médico en un plan individual de prevención secundaria. Estos planes pueden incluir cambios en el estilo de vida, medicamentos para controlar los factores de riesgo conocidos y la adición de un medicamento anti plaquetario como la aspirina.

"Oficialmente, alrededor de cinco millones de estadounidenses, o el 2,3 por ciento, han tenido un TIA auto reportado, diagnosticado por un médico, pero como sugiere esta encuesta, sospechamos que la verdadera prevalencia es mayor porque muchas personas que experimentan síntomas compatibles con un TIA no lo informan,” dijo Elkind.

Alrededor del 15 por ciento de los ataques o derrames cerebrales son anunciados por un TIA. Las personas que tienen un TIA son significativamente más propensas a tener un ataque o derrame cerebral dentro de 90 días.

Para recordar fácilmente las señales de advertencia más comunes de un ataque o derrame cerebral, la American Stroke Association recomienda a los consumidores que aprendan el acrónimo F.A.S.T., que significa:

  • Face drooping/Rostro caído
  • Arm weakness/Brazo débil
  • Speech difficulty/Dificultad para hablar
  • Time to call 911/Tiempo de llamar al 911

Los encuestados que experimentaron dificultad para caminar, mareos, pérdida de equilibrio o coordinación, o entumecimiento o debilidad de la cara, brazo o pierna fueron más propensos a llamar al 911 (5 por ciento).

  • El síntoma más frecuente fue dolor de cabeza repentino y severo sin causa conocida (20 por ciento). La segunda más frecuente fue la dificultad repentina para caminar, mareos, pérdida de equilibrio o coordinación (14 por ciento).

  • 77 por ciento de los encuestados no habían oído hablar de ataque isquémico transitorio o TIA.

  • El 55 por ciento de los encuestados dijeron que primero llamarían al 911 si sospechaban que ellos o alguien más estaba experimentando síntomas de TIA, pero sólo el 3 por ciento de las personas que reportaron haber experimentado un síntoma similar a TIA lo hicieron.

Para aprender más acerca de los ataques o derrames cerebrales, visite a www.StrokeAssociation.org.

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Acerca de la American Stroke Association

La American Stroke Association se dedica a salvar a personas de ataques fulminantes – el asesinos número 2 mundialmente y una de las causas principales de discapacidad grave. Nos unimos a millones de voluntarios para llevar a cabo investigaciones innovadoras, luchar por políticas de salud más agresivas, y proveer recursos e información para prevenir, tratar y vencer a los ataques cerebrales. La asociación con sede en Dallas fue oficialmente creada en el 1998 como una división de la American Heart Association. Para obtener más información o para participar, llame al 1- 888- 4STROKE o visite strokeassociation.org.

Para preguntas de los medios:

Jayme Sandberg: Jayme.Sandberg@heart.org, (214) 706-2169

Mara Silverio: Mara.Silverio@heart.org, (214) 706-1508, (en español)

]]>Foreign Language News ReleasesStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:06 GMTDALLAS, primero de mayo del 2017 – Alrededor de uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses experimentó un síntoma consistente con una advertencia o un "mini" ataque o derrame cerebral, pero casi ninguno – solo el 3 por ciento - tomó la acción recomendada,...http://newsroom.heart.org/news/uno-de-cada-tres-adultos-estadounidenses-ha-experimentado-una-senal-de-advertencia-de-ataque-o-derrame-cerebral-segun-la-american-stroke-associationMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT

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